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Re: Updated Proposal: i24 Requiring Allow in 405 Responses

From: John Kemp <john@jkemp.net>
Date: Wed, 09 Apr 2008 13:43:19 -0400
Message-ID: <47FD0037.3040006@jkemp.net>
To: David Morris <dwm@xpasc.com>
CC: Mark Nottingham <mnot@mnot.net>, Henrik Nordstrom <henrik@henriknordstrom.net>, Julian Reschke <julian.reschke@gmx.de>, 'HTTP Working Group' <ietf-http-wg@w3.org>

David Morris wrote:
> This is fun ;-:) ... following the logic below (I agree with the
> differentiation between 'a' and 'the'), the list in a 405 response
> should be THE list for that particular context ... While there may be
> other methods allowed, even in the given context, the server should never
> provide a different list for the same conditions.

That's true. So for a given resource, there is no (or not necessarily, 
anyway) single list of allowed methods. The list returned is always 
contextual, and the context may vary (while the Request-URI remains the 

So either:

"The Allow entity-header field lists the set of methods supported by the 
resource identified by the Request-URI" is missing the fact that "the 
set of methods supported" is contextual beyond the identification of the 
Request-URI, or:

"The Allow entity-header field advertises a set of methods supported by 
the resource identified by the Request-URI."


- johnk

> Dave Morris
> On Tue, 8 Apr 2008, John Kemp wrote:
>> Mark Nottingham wrote:
>>> Not clear. My take (as a native American speaker who has been corrupted
>>> to speak en-au sometimes) is that 'the' implies that there is only one
>>> possible set.
>> That's also my understanding as an en-gb native, corrupted to speak
>> ~en-us/gb.
>>> However, I'm not that fussed about it; I'm happy to give it to the
>>> editors to decide (and I suspect they'll change it to 'the').
>>> Unless someone has a good technical argument otherwise, and is
>>> passionate enough about it to hold us up, we'll let them decide.
>> No engineering-based technical argument, but I do think there is a clear
>> semantic difference between 'a list' (one of a potential several) and
>> 'the list' (the only list). Using 'a' implies (to me at least) that the
>> server may maintain more than one list of allowed methods for the given
>> resource, and return a particular list given particular circumstances.
>> 'The' doesn't imply that to me. If we wish to imply by that sentence
>> that there is no single list of allowed methods per resource, and we
>> believe that anyone other than me will notice the difference, then using
>> 'a' would make sense.
>> Or, we could just let the editors decide ;)
>> Regards,
>> - john
>>> On 07/04/2008, at 9:39 AM, Henrik Nordstrom wrote:
>>>> sön 2008-04-06 klockan 13:57 +0200 skrev Julian Reschke:
>>>>> I haven't heard any new feedback, so I propose that we go with this
>>>>> proposal.
>>>> Was there consensus on "the list" -> "a list" change?
>>>> I have no opinion on that change as of now, but it looks odd to me (but
>>>> may just be a language issue with English not being my native language)
>>>> Regards
>>>> Henrik
>>> --
>>> Mark Nottingham     http://www.mnot.net/
Received on Wednesday, 9 April 2008 17:44:04 UTC

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